Going into this presentation, I expected much of the same information given in Gardner Campbell’s talk on personal cyberinfrastructures. However, I was pleasantly surprised that although the two presentations shared similar viewpoints, they also approached the issue of effective media usage from different perspectives. Wesch placed much more emphasis on how media integration can truly transform the classroom as well as students’ academic careers and futures. He went into much more depth of what Campbell introduced previously. The idea presented by Wesch of knowledgeable to knowledge-able transformed my own thought process of technology and media usage as a college student, and I see now more value in utilizing these “tools” and platforms to further create my identity as a future individual in our society.
Throughout the presentation, Wesch reiterated the fact that as a professor or teacher, it is one’s job to give students the opportunity to engage in projects and ideas that will transcend the classroom and their four years (or so) on campus. As a student, this could not speak more strongly to me. Many times, I have found myself bored and distracted in class simply because I don’t see the point of cramming facts into my head for a test. I have always valued a class more when I knew I would use my new-found knowledge and ideas in a future career or in future classes. Because my generation is growing up alongside the creation of new medias, it is so important, as Wesch points out, to utilize this parallel in education. Our identities are truly created through the ways in which we all use media to find and share information. Because this generation of students pursues identity and recognition through the media, I believe Wesch is correct in stating that universities and education systems need to implement new strategies involving media and learning.
As Wesch points out, the web is not just linking information, but it is bringing together people who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to do so. Anyone now has the ability to publish, create, share, etc. with the other individuals throughout world. I found this to be one of the main points in Wesch’s argument that relates directly to the goals of ds106 at Mary Washington. This class allows students to engage in media in new ways that many other classes do not offer. It moves beyond “information literacy” and into “social imagination.” As a community, we engage with one another thoughtfully and communicate via the media itself. DS106 provides a platform for us as students to connect, organize and share ideas as well as publish them for others in our digital lives to view. Personally, I see how this semester-long “project” will thus transcend my time as a student at Mary Washington. This class gives myself and others the opportunity to further pursue our digital identity after we graduate and take advantage of the many avenues available through media to connect with other people.
DS106 allows students to move from “knowing stuff” and memorizing bullet points on a power point toward a greater ability to sort, analyze and create innovative ideals. Thus, in the light of the fact that I now have the opportunity to create my own online space, I hold much more value in my job as a meaning-maker, sharer, publisher, etc.. My education is no longer a one-way conversation, but rather a vital discussion between growing minds taking advantage of this user-generated atmosphere in the classroom through media.